RSA President Delivers Wake-Up Call to Security Vendors

VIDEO: Amit Yoran, RSA president, said it's time for vendors to wake up and realize the modern reality of cyber-security.

SAN FRANCISCO—Amit Yoran has a message for the 2016 RSA Conference, and it's that cyber-security is the cornerstone for the continued survival of the modern world.

In a meeting with press and analysts at the RSA Conference here, ahead of his keynote today, Yoran outlined his views on the state of modern IT security and explained why he titled his keynote "The Sleeper Awakes."

"Top of mind, we have the current battle between the FBI and Apple, but there are some underlying fundamental issues of which that case is just one indicator," Yoran said.

Yoran emphasized that the Apple-FBI case is a "thorny" issue and represents a potential catastrophe.

At the 2015 RSA Conference, Yoran said that the security industry has failed. Now in 2016, there is common agreement that, in fact, the security industry hasn't delivered on all of its promises, he said.

"I don't think any vendor or practitioner stands up and says, 'I have a prevention strategy that will work,'" Yoran said. "That means we have to evolve our thinking, and we have to evolve our strategies."

That evolution is moving from a focus exclusively on prevention to a mindset that also includes monitoring and response. It's an evolution that RSA as a company is also embracing by improving the behavioral analytics capabilities of its products.

Yoran also noted that his company recently completed a survey and found that 90 percent of IT professionals are not happy with the speed with which their security technologies today are able to detect security incidents.

Of Yoran's keynote title, "The Sleeper Awakes," he said it's time for vendors to wake up, but that there is a lot of awakening that needs to happen in the cyber-security industry overall.

"Part of the challenge here is in how the industry goes about marketing technologies " Yoran said. "Are we helping to solve meaningful problems or are we trying to apply Band-Aid, black-box types of architectures."

Yoran said that modern progressive security organizations now demand more from vendors wanting to understand why an item is a risk or something is flagged as being malicious. "'The Sleeper Awakes' reference [refers not only to] the vendor community but also the operator community as they wake up and say, we need to do things differently," Yoran said.

Watch the full video of Amit Yoran's remarks below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.